Tag Archive | sadness

Epitaph for my friend Maggie

Maggie (6 of 6)

Today, very suddenly, I lost one of my best friends. Maggie had an accident while running around one of her favourite places, Mystic Vale in Victoria, falling suddenly from a height and dying nearly instantly.

Maggie was my mother’s dog, a golden retriever who I met for the first time in 2004. We quickly formed a strong bond, although I lived far away in Florida. Every time I would come home she would greet me with excitement, knowing that soon we would go adventuring together. Maggie loved the outdoors, and luckily enough, she lived in a great place where she could go running freely on outings with my mother once or twice a day.

We had some great fun exploring the wild lands around Victoria, swimming at the beach, or just curling up by the fire together after a long day. She was a great companion and a true friend.

I am completely devastated by her sudden passing, but there is consolation in knowing she died out there running around the forest, doing what she loved. Good bye my dear friend, I will miss you.

mag (2 of 6)

Mags out with my mom.

mag (5 of 6)

Maggie (2 of 6)

A young pup in 2004.

Maggie (5 of 6)

Atop Mt. Tolmie.

mag (6 of 6)

Maggie 2004-2013

Ruminations on the rain


It’s raining in Vancouver. I know, big surprise, right? Well, we have had a crazy unusual summer, with all of July hot and sunny. Life cycles of plants and animals accelerated, and the time has just flown by. The grasses in unwatered areas are dead or dormant, grasshoppers and craneflies are nowhere to be found, and I am sure the vole population has taken a hit.

But now it is raining.

Tonight, I had been sitting in front of a big ol’ spreadsheet, pondering an analysis that has not yet come to pass on a paper that I thought was finished (no worries though, Catherine and her mad R-skillz will help out).

Damn, the variables were half-renamed, and I didn’t wanna do it any more.


Before the light totally failed, I headed out to the community garden to take some pictures, raging out at a driver who almost ran me down in the crosswalk outside my house. Damn fools think it’s a freeway or something. I was angry and seething inside while I got to the park.

Time for some macro therapy.

The insects were dealing with the rain with various levels of success.


Some of the honeybees were totally soaked through and depressing, others seemed to soldier on.


I examined a bumblebee working a sunflower for a while; she did not seem to mind the rain, perhaps because of the generous overhang of the plant.


Then I looked down at the leaves of the plant and the yellowing and crispy husks reminded of the sad fact that the summer is slipping away.


In fact, we all know it, summer is short, even on the west coast of Canada. the Turkey Vultures are flying south, the Rufous Hummingbirds are gone, the vine maples up at school are starting to turn strange colours, and the termites are beginning to fly. My thesis is almost done, I need to defend in the fall, I have no job lined up, and a very tenuous plan for the future.  


On the plus side, I have a really cool paper which I hope will be published soon (wait for it! It is my biggie!), Catherine and I will do spider fieldwork next week, and I have plans to visit the caracaras in Honduras in the fall. Things are looking up, if I put it in that context. I still have a lot of work to do, but I am getting better at what I do, and I think the publication of my next paper will be well-received (because it is cool!).

In the meantime, the passing of the summer is just another turn of the season, and I actually love the fall. I should remember to try to get out more and enjoy it all while I can.